Losing Weight without Compromise - Meal #3

Pork Medallions.jpg

"Losing Weight Without Compromise" or "How I ate well, drank wine and lost 18 pounds"

"Wine is meant to be with food - that’s the point of it." - Julia Child

- Meal Three- Pork Medallions, Goat-cheese blanketed beets and Pesto Zucchini (prep time 40 minutes)

"Texture" is the name of the game in this dinner as we bring together juicy tenderloin pork, tender beets, creamy tart goat cheese, noodle-like zucchini and the sweet/dry fibrous consistency of squash. The key for me with this meal is to ensure that the pork is not overcooked. A juicy tenderloin will marry well with a wide range of wines, while overdone pork is dry and uninspiring, regardless of what you serve it with. All in this dish is approximately 17 grams of carbs, and about 21 with a glass of wine.


1 Pork tenderloin

3 tbsp of goat cheese

1 tbsp of virgin olive oil

1 medium squash

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 medium zucchini

3 tbsp of Pesto (we like Costco but most basil-based pestos work)

Salt and Pepper

Preparation (Zucchini):

- Using a spiral tool or mandolin, slice the zucchini into "noodles".

- In a frying pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and then flash fry the zucchini noodles, stirring in the pesto, over 2 minutes.

Preparation (Pork tenderloin):

- While I did not do it on this day, the best way to start the prep of your tenderloin is to sear it for 2 minutes in a frying pan (in 1 tbsp of olive oil). This browns the outside, locking in juices, and giving you a crispy outside/juicy inside texture.

- For this dish, instead, I chose to add only salt and pepper before placing the pork in a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cooking in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 425 F until the centre of the pork loin was 145 F.

- I removed from the oven and set it aside, only slicing it into medallions when the meal was ready to be served.

Preparation (Squash):

- I prepared an entire squash, but only served a very small part of it for this meal.

- Peel the outside of the squash and then cut it into fours. Carve away the inner seeds leaving just the core in four pieces. To cook more quickly, and facilitate mashing, cut the squash into 2-3 inch pieces and place in a pot of boiling water. Testing occasionally, cook the squash until it can be easily pierced with a fork.

- Drain water and then add 2 tbsp of butter before mashing the squash to your preferred consistency.

Preparation (Beets):

- This meal calls for 1 beet per serving but I do many at once. Wash your beets but do not cut into them before placing into the pot, as the color will drain during cooking if you do. Wait to peel them after they are cooked, as the skin slides easily off then.

- While boiling is approximately 30 minutes, I start testing after 20 minutes by poking the beets with a fork until the fork passes easily into the beet.

- Once cooked, remove the skin and slice the beet. Add the goat cheese equally across the beets per the photo.

Pairing with wine:

This is a fun one to pair, because the various components of the meal could be enjoyed with completely different wines. While the pork could easily go with a medium red, like a merlot or tempranillo, I would lean on its versatility and mild flavour profile to angle towards a white wine to try to enhance the other parts of the dish. But then what? The goat cheese would definitely align well to sauvignon blanc or sancerre but the squash and zucchini is maximized with a medium-bodied chardonnay. The answer here is that any of these wines would work. I chose to combine these characteristics into one solution by going with a Spanish Rueda, Marques De Riscal. The verdejo grape is a versatile one- in this case offering the richness of a chardonnay with the fresh, crisp acidity of a sauvignon blanc. It worked incredibly well with this meal!

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